Are you getting enough benefits? Are you entitled to benefits you don’t realise?

This was going to be a very angry post about the viciousness of the ‘benefit scroungers’ myth from the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour. I have decided to leave that, for today at least, and focus on something very important that could actually make things a bit better for some people

In all the noise about “benefit fraud”, “dependency culture” and the “workshy unemployed”, to choose just a few of the phrases that get hurled out of the newspapers and the mouths of London based political parties, there is a very important fact they never point out.

The most recent figure I have seen estimates that £20.5 million pounds is lost every year to benefit fraud. A huge figure to us ordinary folk, but in the greater scheme of things small change to a world government. In fact, according to whistleblower Osita Mba, it could be around the same amount as Goldman Sachs were let off by HMRC

What the politicians, with all their indignant fury at this fraud (the benefit fraud, not the massive tax fraud being allowed to happen by the UK Tax Office) never tell us is the much bigger amount that sits in the benefits budget unclaimed each year. Billions, BILLIONS of pounds go unclaimed in universal (available to all, not means-tested) and means-tested (available to those on low incomes) benefits every year, an estimated £8.5 billion in this financial year alone!

Don’t miss out. If you are entitled to it then for goodness sake claim it! With the cost of living rising so quickly, any extra money could make a big difference to your daily life, and can, in some cases, mean the difference between living and simply existing.

Age UK has produced a benefits checker that if accessible to anyone, you don’t have to be a certain age to use it. Give it a go, you might be surprised.

And if you know someone who you think may benefit from a check, please tell them about it. If they need help, spend a bit of time helping them use their computer if they have one, take your laptop to them, invite them round for a cuppa and a benefits check, or refer them to someone who can help, for example, their local community group, Age UK if they are over 50, their local library perhaps. If they live in the Rhondda Fach, put them in touch with the Penrhys Partnership‘s ‘Big Click RCT‘ project, and maybe it will be me helping them in one of the drop in sessions we run!

It is really vital that people claim this money while it is still there, and don’t let the London parties hoodwink us into thinking that we can’t afford it, when there is money just lying around waiting to be claimed.